Some time ago, I managed a popular pizza parlor. One of the biggest reasons it was so well liked by so many people was because almost everything was made fresh, daily. That included the pizza shells and the sauce. That is a ‘not-so-secret’ of most of the very best pizza parlors everywhere.
The reasoning is quite simple. No matter what toppings you put on your pizza, the pizza will never be better than the dough and pizza sauce it is made with. This is also why store-bought, pre-packaged pizzas never come close to the flavor of a pizza parlor pizza.
The following recipe uses fresh garden ingredients, though they can be purchased at the store if you don’t have a garden. This makes a lot of sauce, so there is enough to home-can. Since the ingredients are fresh, the canned result also tastes much fresher than what is sold in stores and it is healthier, too.
You can also make a correspondingly smaller amount of the sauce if you only want enough for a couple of large pizzas. Incidentally, this sauce is also excellent as a base for spaghetti sauce and I’ve used it in chili sauce.
Although not absolutely necessary, I usually skin the tomatoes. This is very easy to do. Simply get a pot of water boiling and put a couple of tomatoes at a time into the boiling water. Let them boil for about a minute, then put them into ice water for a minute or so. The skins should slip right off.
Pizza sauce ingredients:
- 10 pounds tomatoes; pulpy tomatoes like Roma tomatoes preferred
- 4 large onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons minced or crushed garlic
- 3 tablespoon fresh oregano
- 2 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoon fresh basil
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
Pizza sauce instructions:
* The more of the ingredients that are fresh, the better.
1. In a deep frying pan, cook the onions and garlic in the olive oil over medium until the onions are getting translucent and soft. This takes about five minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes, chopped, then add the brown sugar and lemon juice. Stir well, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
3. Cook, uncovered, stirring frequently until the tomato sauce is thickened. This takes about an hour or so.
4. Add the herbs, stir well, and allow the sauce to cook for an additional minute or two.
Note: Heat destroys the volatile oils that give herbs their aroma and flavor, so they should be added near the end of the cooking time. This way, the sauce retains the most flavor possible. Basil is especially heat sensitive. This is, in fact, a secret to fantastic sauces.
To home can the sauce:
1. Pour the sauce into clean, sterilized half-pint or pint jars, leaving a 1/2 inch head space.
2. Wipe the rim of the jars with a clean, damp cloth.
3. Put the lids on the jars and put on the rings, tightening only hand tight. If you tighten them too much, you’ll have difficulty getting them off later.
4. Put the jars in a boiling water bath so the water is about an inch above the tops of the jars. Allow them to process in the boiling water for 15 minutes, then remove and place the jars on a towel on a counter, to cool.
5. The jars should ‘pop’ when they seal. When they are cooled to room temperature, press down on the center of each lid. If it has properly sealed, it shouldn’t give. If it does, refrigerate the unsealed sauce and use it within a day or so.
Tip: It is a good idea to loosen or remove the rings after the sauce has cooled and the jars have been checked for a seal. If the rings are left on the jars and are tight, they can become progressively difficult to remove after they’ve been stored for a while.
A half-pint of this sauce should be plenty for a large pizza. We usually make pizzas two at a time, so most of the sauce we make and can are put into pint jars.
40 CommentsLeave a Reply
love veggie pizza and fruit pizza too
That is the great thing…making it homemade like this will work with veggie or fruit pizza, too.
Nice one. More grease to your elbow
Indeed, but it also saves money and tastes much better.
You can’t beat a home made pizza base and topping and it is so easy to do and a great way to use up bits and pieces you have in the saldad drawer 🙂
I couldn’t agree more. I especially love it when it comes right out of the garden, but I’m loathed to use store-bought sauces when I can make my own that taste better, is healthier, and that is cheaper.
Love it .
Me too! lol
I have saved this one for future use. Sounds delicious!
It really is, Carol, and it is easy to make. I may use some the next time I make zucchini Parmesan.
Look tasty 🙂
It is very tasty.
Yes, it is.
This looks so yummy from scratch! Just the title alone gives me the goosebumps. LMBO!
I love good pizza and I’m thankful that it isn’t difficult to make. Typically, though, I overload my pizza’s with toppings. One of the pizzas I used to make, which ended up being dubbed the “Rex Special”, was a 20-inch pizza with over two pounds of toppings. It had ground beef, sausage, mushrooms, onions, black olives, cracked shrimp, Canadian bacon, pineapple, shaved linguica sausage, tomatoes, and extra cheese. When I’d make it for my family of four, there were always leftovers. lol Naturally, it wasn’t a menu pizza…we would have lost money on it.
The best pizzas in the Lake Charles market are Little Caesar’s Pizza and Pizza Hut. The best pizza I ever ate was in Montreal Canada in 1976 at the restaurant named Esplanade.
The parlor I managed was a franchise chain called Abby’s. On an average day, we made about 450 pizzas. This was in a town of about 10,000 people, which had maybe one or two dozen other pizza parlors. Most of the others didn’t use fresh stuff, though, and I think that only two or three others made their own dough and sauce. We were sticklers about ‘fresh’. Any pizza dough left over at the end of the day was thrown away.
I used to work for Deepizza Delivery which opened in February 1986 and closed in the summer of that same year. Then I went to work for Domino’s Pizza from August 1986 to August 2005 when Hurricane Katrina flooded the New Orleans area.
That isn’t the best way to get a thorough deep-clean of a pizza parlor. lol At least you made it out safely. Several of my minister friends spent a lot of time in New Orleans helping people during the aftermath.
Very true since my brother in law had a home for us to stay when Katrina hit which is in Pine Louisiana about 60 miles north of New Orleans.
Love pizza, I always stuck to the frozen store bought pizza’s because of my picky eating. I know it’s better to make homemade however.
I’m rather surprised. I’d think that you’d be among the first to embrace homemade sauce since you control exactly what goes into it and can also make sure that it has no preservatives or inedible stuff like silicon dioxide (sand, a common ingredient in store-bought foods and sauces.)
Well I do make my own low carb crust…but still use premade sauce. If I were not going to use that, I’d probably just put tomato sauce…again picky eater lol.
Pizza sauce isn’t a lot more than tomato sauce. Just put the herbs I list above into tomato sauce, add a small amount of sugar and olive oil and you have the base for store-bought pizza sauce. Most often, they use corn syrup rather than sugar, but it amounts to the same thing. The recipe I have here merely starts from scratch, rather than from canned tomato sauce.
This sauce sounds delicious! I love pizza but I’ve never tried making it at home.
You really should try it. It is quite easy to do and so much better than anything you can buy at the store.
mouthwatering! thanks for making me hungry. time to make dinner haha
Are you having pizza?
today yes, we had pizza for lunch. good! 🙂
Love making my own pizza. Bread machine makes dough easily. Might try this sauce when my garden tomatoes are ready.
I make the dough by hand, too. It is incredibly easy and so much better than store bought.
So yummy! Pizza is my #1 fav
You definitely aren’t alone. I don’t recall what the number is, but most people would be astounded by the number of pre-made and pizza parlor pizzas that are sold every year. That doesn’t even count homemade.
So nice post
Thank you so much!
Thank you for the recipe. I love making pizza and this sauce sounds sooo good!
It really is good, Edith. I’m blessed with an abundance in our garden, too, which helps me to make the wonderful sauces.
Wow, gonna try this. I am a huge pizza sauce lover. It is a wonderful addition to almost any meal…
I agree, Doc. There is little doubt that pizza is the favorite dish for most Americans and it is loved in most other countries, too. A good sauce can make the difference between a great pizza and one that is barely edible.